One of my earlier exposures to the home security camera world was with the VueZone system. I just received an email from Netgear, makers of VueZone, that support is ending for these cameras at the end of 2017. I don’t think I ever had a camera where support actually ended and couldn’t no longer be used.
Important Update: VueZone Support Extension Beyond 2017
If you weren’t aware of this, be sure to read their announcement.
Highlights from the announcement:
After December 31, 2017, the following will apply:
– All VueZone hardware products including base station and camera will cease to communicate with the VueZone back end
– Any videos and photos you have saved in the VueZone cloud will not be retrievable
– Access to the VueZone web application and to the VueZone mobile applications will be unavailable to all customers
– VueZone service plans will no longer be supported and no service plan fees will be charged after this date
– NETGEAR Customer Support will no longer provide technical support for VueZone products
In short, the hardware will power on just fine but you can’t store it nor view it. Does it mean that you need to buy a completely new home security camera system. Unfortunately, yes.
Now what do you do? Download your saved videos of your kids, pets, whatever special moments you had saved and move on. But move on to what? That’s what we will discuss next.
Owners of a VueZone camera typically have these for unique reasons. The most common reasons being a lack of available power outlets or the need for multiple inexpensive home security cameras.
I’m guessing you purchased these cameras over five years ago, or something close to that date. They haven’t been actively marketed for several years. You might be thinking there area wide variety of good alternatives that fit your requirements of a 100% wireless camera, but there isn’t. Fortunately, though, there are two good options which we’ll discuss.
The easiest option is to replace your VueZone with the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera. This camera is also made by Netgear, just like the VueZone. Probably the biggest advantage to this camera system is the mount. You probably have a bunch of those metallic round mounts stuck all over your home. The Arlo Smart Home Security Camera can use those mounts. Believe me when I tell you, they aren’t easy to peel off the wall. There’s a good chance your drywall comes up with it. Reusing these mounts for the Arlo camera is a good idea.
Just like the VueZone, the Arlo cameras use a hub for communications. Just not the one that you currently have. It’s the same concept. The cameras are battery operated just like the VueZone and last 4-6 months. If you feel at home with your VueZone, you will be happy with the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera. We wrote a detailed review of Arlo Smart Home cameras not long ago which is worth a read.
If you feel it’s time to look at a completely different brand, try the Blink Home Security Camera System. Blink cameras also work off a common hub. Blink cameras offer a longer battery life, up to a year. Unlike the Arlo cameras, these aren’t made for outdoor use, although there are mounts that can potentially change that.
Blink cameras are an interesting work in progress. This product was born out of a Kickstarter crowdfunding venture. There are a lot of interesting features that are still on the drawing board such as the ability to report on room temperature and send alerts when thresholds are breached. In my opinion, the hardware is a little better with the Arlo Smart Home Camera but the software potential of the Blink is superior.
I know it’s not enjoyable to have to replace hardware because of a manufacturer decision, but these two alternatives will improve the viewing experience and provide ongoing support. The Blink Home Security Camera System and the Arlo Smart Home Security Camera are worthy replacements for the VueZone.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).